Compared to conditions like periodontitis, edentulism, and halitosis, most people would quickly assume that a cracked tooth is a fairly petty oral health problem. A simple slit in the tooth won’t cause damage as serious as periodontal pockets in the mouth, right?
Most people tend to believe that mild and temporary pain is the only thing that comes with a cracked tooth. It is ironic that when patients experience this dental emergency, they rarely see it as a problem that requires urgent attention. They postpone treatments and simply put up with the symptoms.
While some cases are insignificant, others develop potentially dangerous complications that may require extensive treatment.
Attack of the Cracked Tooth
The most critical risk of leaving a cracked tooth unaddressed is the possibility of abscess formation. A fracture in the tooth makes the nerve inside vulnerable. Over time, the nerve and cells inside of the tissue die and discharge the contents. This develops into pus and may trigger severe pain.
Left untreated, this can lead to tooth loss and serious complications, including sepsis (blood infection), osteomyelitis (bone infection), and cavernous sinus thrombosis (life-threatening blood clot).
Treatment for the Problem
Because of the health risks associated with a cracked tooth, it is important to seek care immediately to prevent more serious conditions.
If the tooth can be saved with a restoration the best option is to have a crown.
Crowns are an ideal solution and involve grinding a segment of the remaining tooth and placing on a tooth-shaped cap. This improves function and appearance of the tooth and provides protection of the remaining tooth tissue.
If the tooth become infected the treatment solution would be root canal therapy. This is what we recommend for patients where the fracture is large enough and reveals the pulp and tooth infection. Root canal therapy entails eliminating dead pulp, cleaning the canal and closing it off.
A cracked tooth, simple as it may sound, is a big deal. It can cause serious complications, which may affect not just your oral health. but overall well being. Seek treatment immediately.